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ELECTRICITY

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French winter power sheds 10% on EDF nuclear outage revision

(Montel) French winter power prices plunged more than 10% on Monday amid the prospect of more nuclear power supply after utility EDF shortened the duration of several planned outages.

The Q4 contract was last seen trading down EUR 22.50 on the day at EUR 197/MWh on the EEX exchange. Earlier it touched EUR 190.50/MWh, the lowest since 7 March.

The Q1 2024 contract stood almost EUR 33 lower on the day at EUR 297.50/MWh – having earlier touched EUR 290/MWh for the first time since 17 March.

“The main driver is the significant reduction in the duration of the outages,” one trader said, noting that more supply meant a reduction in the risk premium on French winter contracts.

On Monday, EDF reduced the duration of outages at six 1.3 GW reactors – Belleville 1 and 2, Cattenom 1 and 2, Nogent 1 and 2 – by up to 28 days, with four of the units scheduled to start earlier in the winter.

EDF attributed the revision in outages to the standardisation of work needed to replace parts of the safety injection circuits as part of its broader probe for stress corrosion, a spokeswoman told Montel.

Meanwhile, EDF extended an outage at its 910 MW nuclear unit Blayais 4 by six days to 2 June at 23:00 CET. The unit has been offline since 11 February for planned maintenance and partial refuelling.

Below is a table of the revised planned outages.

Reactor

Capacity per unit (MW)

Previous outage

New outage

Belleville 1

1,310

08.07 – 15.12.2023

08.07 – 30.11.2023

Belleville 2

1,310

27.05 – 03.11.203

27.05 – 06.10.2023

Cattenom 1

1,300

27.05 – 03.11.2023

27.05 – 09.10.2023

Cattenom 2

1,300

03.03 – 12.08.2023

03.03 – 01.08.2023

Nogent 1

1,310

23.09.2023 – 01.03.2024

23.09.2023 – 07.02.2024

Nogent 2

1,310

15.04 – 23.09.2023

15.04 – 25.08.2023

Updates story published at 14:01 CET with EDF's explanation